Redesigning Life after 50

Are you over 50 and in the position of having to start your life over after a loss, change or adversity? Are you struggling with the concept of reinventing yourself and your life?

Change through choice is one thing, but finding yourself in the position of having to change at an age when you expected to be settled, comfortably well off and cruising happily along can be very traumatic.

No one can know the best path for you but yourself. Friends can give you advice, but it’s just that – advice.

Only you know what has to be done, but it is very difficult to remain connected with your core, to feel your intuition speak, when you are highly stressed.

Staying connected to core is a whole other blog post, but for now here are five facts that might help you stay focussed on that new life ahead.

1. Fifty is not the start of old age.

2. You can look healthier now than you did 10 years ago.

3. You can become a different person.

4. You don’t need money to do it

5. Your story will help another woman do it too

As usual, please join the discussion below ~ that’s where we love to hang out after a blog post!

Love and Best,

Seona ❤︎

“Strong Personality” Syndrome and How to Cope

Are you the target of a “Strong Personality”? (freeimages.com)

Do you sail into new friendships, groups or projects expecting only sunshine and rainbows? Or have you found yourself limping away, licking your wounds and feeling hurt, disillusioned and discarded?

Launching a new project into the world can be a daunting experience, especially if you’ve invested a lot of your authentic self into it. Don’t expect it to be plain sailing, but neither should you have to tolerate abuse, harassment or bullying of any kind.

Like domestic violence, bullying takes many forms and some of these are steeped in subtlety and innuendo.

I set up a new venture recently that attracted a great deal of interest from “Strong Personalities”. These chameleon-like characters emerged from the woodwork but soon dissipated in disinterest as I declined to engage in their games.

But one determined character remained to make life interesting; the classic “serial bully”, described as bully type 1 at this link.

Interestingly, when I discussed this challenge with an adviser, their response was “Don’t worry about her. She is a renowned strong personality

Strong?

I don’t see any strength in, for example, belittling, humiliating, undermining and excluding behaviours.

I think the term “strong personality” is a weak, “politically correct” term for a bully.

So let’s call it what it is. Lets call it out. Some people are bullies. Some of these bullies are women. Some of these women thrive on putting down, publically attacking, shaming or belittling other women.

Don’t let it be you.

Here are my 7 strategies for surviving & thriving in the presence of a “strong personality”!

Watch for warning signs! (freeimages.com)
  1. Watch for Warning Signs 
  • Stories don’t add up or keep changing to suit the situation.
  • Calculating and devious in private but pleasant in public.
  • Accomplished liar, control freak, huge ego, narcissistic, emotionally untrustworthy.
  • She needs to be “all things to all people”, doesn’t accept blame, is always right.
  • She sees the worst in people all the time, hypocritical, lacks empathy, thrives on conflict.
  • Be self-aware; don’t become the emotional bully.
  1. Honour your Instincts
  • Something in your gut tells you something is not right.
  • Putting it down to paranoia? Don’t. Trust your gut!
  • Google it; you’ll be surprised at the amount of information out there.
  • Trust your intuition. Nine out of ten times it’s right.
  • Believe in yourself – you know what’s happening here.
  1. Formulate a Strategy for Stress
  • Act immediately. Stress is a killer.
  • Manage your thoughts. Ask yourself “is this thought of any value to me?”.
  • Change the way you respond. It’s like tug’o’war. Drop your end and the game is over.
  • Understand why some women are mean to other women.
  • Know that you can choose what to think.
  1. Exercise Empathy
  • Empathy can be learned; “look for the human behind everything
  • Stand in her shoes. Why is this person attacking you?
  • Most attackers are coming from a place of fear.
  • You don’t need to reach out physically; just think the thoughts.
  • Feel gratitude for your ability to feel empathy. Gratitude = Happiness.
Care for yourself before others (freeimages.com)
  1. Stay connected with your Core
  • What is your normal care routine? Stick with it, especially now.
  • Don’t have a care routine? Get one now.
  • Meditate, or learn the skill. Here’s a great free app to get you started. (Not affiliated in any way).
  • Change your routine; get up earlier and do your self-care.
  • Walk in nature. It’s the best medicine for your soul.
  1. Protect yourself from the Protagonist
  • Document, document document. Screenshot. Save. Record.
  • Seek help. Bullying is isolating. Reach out immediately.
  • Take a step back and reflect. Stay calm.
  • Summon the grace to allow benefit of the doubt where possible.
  • Don’t try to “set the record straight”. She’s not interested in truth.
  1. Forgive but Don’t Forget
  • Forgiving yourself or someone else is good for your health.
  • Forgive the protagonist for her actions. They are based in fear and insecurity.
  • Forgive yourself for getting into the situation in the first place.
  • Forget the pain and anguish as soon as possible. Breath. Walk. Live.
  • Do not forget the lesson. It will come around again!

SUMMARY: Women who are bullies are practised chameleons who need prey in order to function. They also need our empathy and understanding. Once you understand what’s going on for them, it’s much easier to handle.

Have you been targeted by a bully? How did you feel? Please keep the conversation going and share your experience below ❤︎

 

What would happen if we were gentle with ourselves in our desire to be creative?

If you have ever beaten yourself up cos you think you’re not a real “creative” please take a look at this video. We need to be gentle with ourselves and stop feeling ashamed that we’re not living up to external expectations. Amen.

No Goals? No Problem

I’m all for setting goals and making plans. In fact at this point in my life I have some pretty major goals, and a strategy in place to meet them. That’s not to say that I’m perfect at following it. Sometimes life gets curvy, and I have to adapt my strategy accordingly, adjust my schedule, take the scenic route. Whatever is appropriate to keep me on track toward my destination.

But what if you don’t have any goals? What if you don’t know what you really want, where you want to be in a year, two years or more?

Goals are a relatively new thing for me. Yes, I’ve had plenty of goals throughout my lifetime, and have achieved most of them. Some of them required arduous commitment through free and uncertainty. Getting my pilot licence for example. Sometimes, when flying solo, I was terrified. But I persisted and flew.

I’m not long emerged from a very long period in the wilderness, so to speak. For close to 15 years I had no idea. I was completely disconnected from myself. I was so accustomed to setting and achieving goals; it seemed the only logically to move forward. At least it was familiar.

 

TINS (Time in Nature Sundays)

st_helens_beach_picI shared my goal chart on the first “My Life as a Story” webinar and that sharing had a powerful result.

In the first module of the course I’m teaching the value of making a public declaration about your decision to “do” — that is, your decision to go ahead and strive for the goal that you have set for yourself.

Your declaration needn’t be “public” as such, but it should be made to someone who will hold you accountable for what you want to achieve.

In my case, making the declaration to the course participants on the webinar means that the course participants now get to hold me accountable in relation to my goal chart; and on that chart was a promise to take time in nature at least weekly (to “Recharge”).

So today (Sunday) I had the house to myself and I had done all the tasks that had to be done. The heat outside was blistering so I was curled on the couch with the curtains drawn to keep cool, remote in hand and Netflix on the big screen.

But as the time ticked by, the thought of the promise I had made to myself and my course participants gradually grew stronger than the excuse that it was too hot to go anywhere. I tell you what — it was touch and go getting my eyes off the screen and my ass off that seat. If I hadn’t made a public declaration of my intention, I don’t know if I would have succeeded.

And if I hadn’t packed my little bag and walked out the door I wouldn’t have found St Helens Beach (by accident!), witnessed the emergence of millions of tiny mangrove seedlings at the waters edge or met a friendly one-eared dog called “Wolf”. Bonus!

Here’s to the power of the public declaration! “Doing it” feels great and adds another notch to your goal belt!

Thank you for holding me accountable!

Picture Your Story

My_BusWhy did I choose to feature the interior of a motorhome as the header picture of my blog? Because it’s part of my story, and this blog is about stories; yours and mine.

Your story matters. Picture it.

My picture invokes a dream I have; to own a motorhome and travel around Australia, holding workshops for women who need assistance with getting through adversity and telling their stories. As a solicitor I’ll be in a unique position to offer practical advice. That qualification, combined with my professional health, coaching and creative qualifications will, I hope, result in a unique package that has the potential to contribute great value to those who attend.

This is all in the future of course –  I’m only half way through my Bachelor of Laws – but it’s still a part of my story because I live it in my daily life; visualising, relishing the details in my mind, feeling the emotions – excitement, fulfilment, adventure, connection –  asking questions; how will the experience benefit those who attend my workshops? How will I do it? What will be my strengths?

The picture of the bus is the hook. It’s a vibrant visual connection to these future experiences. It keeps the dream alive in my mind, pulls me forward to the experience that I am manifesting for myself, brings my story to life.

Do you have a picture that pulls you towards your story?

Go to Pinterest, use the search box to search themes, see what resonates with you and where it leads your imagination. Save the picture. Make sure you see it every day.

Picture your story …

Have fun!